By Grace Segers, Caroline Linton

Updated on: October 30, 2020 / 12:41 PM
/ CBS NEWS

Heading into the final weekend of the campaign, both President Trump and Joe Biden will be in the battleground states of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Mr. Trump is also heading to Michigan, while Biden will be going to Iowa.

Both their running mates are going West, with Mike Pence in Arizona and Kamala Harris in Texas, the once solid Republican state that appears to be deadlocked with little time before Election Day. Turnout in Texas is already 94% of its total turnout in 2016, meaning the state is headed toward shattering voter turnout records.

But questions still remain about when results will come in throughout the country. A U.S. appeals court in Minnesota ruled Thursday that absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to definitively be counted. The court’s opinion overruled a consent decree order that allowed absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day to be counted if they are returned up to seven days after Election Day.

And two Republican-heavy Pennsylvania counties, Cumberland and Butler, will not begin counting ballots until the day after the election. County election officials said their staffs are simply too small to tally mail ballots while at the same time running Election Day operations. 

Speaking to reporters before heading to Minnesota, Mr. Trump said that he was confident that he would win Texas and several other swing states.

“Texas is looking very strong. I will tell you that if you look around Florida, it’s looking great. Florida’s looking really great. Ohio is looking great. North Carolina is looking fantastic, actually. We think Pennsylvania’s looking fantastic,” Mr. Trump said.

He also indicated that he may spend election night in the White House, claiming that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had shut down the city and so he may not be able to go to his hotel nearby to watch the election results.

“The mayor shut it down. So, we have a hotel – I don’t know if it’s shut down if you’re allowed to use it or not,” Mr. Trump said.

Joe Biden on Thursday contributed an op-ed to Yonhap News Agency, South Korea’s leading news source, expressing his commitment to a denuclearized, and reunified Korean Peninsula. 

Biden wrote that, as president, he would “stand with South Korea, strengthening our alliance to safeguard peace in East Asia and beyond, rather than extorting Seoul with reckless threats to remove our troops.”

“I’ll engage in principled diplomacy and keep pressing toward a denuclearized North Korea and a unified Korean Peninsula, while working to reunite Korean Americans separated from loved ones in North Korea for decades,” reads the op-ed. 

The piece is unprecedented for Yonhap, which said in a note above the op-ed that it “marks the first of its kind to a South Korean media company in the year of the U.S. presidential election.” 

Biden has repeatedly contrasted his vision for the peninsula with the actions of President Trump. During the second and final presidential debate earlier this month, the Democratic candidate said Mr. Trump has made friends with autocratic leaders, including Kim Jong Un.

“He embraces guys like the thugs in North Korea and the president in China and Putin and others,” Biden said. Throughout his presidency, Mr. Trump has praised the North Korean dictator, and said at the most recent debate that it was not a bad thing to have a “good relationship” with him.

Biden said that logic was akin to saying “we had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded Europe, the rest of Europe.” The former vice president said he wouldn’t meet with Kim until he agreed to draw down his nuclear capacity.

Florida-based union members who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic are making their final push to get out the vote for Joe Biden days before the election. 

They’re targeting infrequent voters — who in some cases haven’t cast a vote since 2008 — and hoping that sharing their personal stories will help get more of them to the polls. With over 7.3 million votes already cast in Florida, where polls show Biden and Mr. Trump are virtually tied, hospitality and fast-food workers are trying to have one more conversation with some of the 7 million Floridians who are registered but haven’t voted yet. 

“I tell them please go out to vote. If you don’t want to go to vote, vote for me, because I need it for my kids. I need it for my life,” said Francesca Clerizier, a 51-year-old mother of six who’d lost her job at Disney before joining UNITE HERE as a canvasser. 

High numbers of voters who did not cast a ballot in the last election are turning out in battleground states this year. In Florida, 25.8% of Democrats who have voted early in Florida so far did not vote in 2016, according to the Democratic elections data firm TargetSmart. 

Biden and former President Obama will appear at two campaign events together in Michigan on Saturday, demonstrating the importance of the state to his campaign. Mr. Trump narrowly won Michigan in 2016, but Biden is hoping that he can win back the state this year, as well as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

CBS News’ Battleground Tracker currently has Biden up 8 points over Mr. Trump, 53% to 45%.

Biden and Mr. Obama will appear at drive-in rallies in Flint and Detroit, two key metro areas in the state. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, is a co-chair of Biden’s campaign

With just four days to go before Election Day, Texas, has already surpassed the total number of votes cast in the 2016 election. Friday is the final day of early voting in the state.

Over 9 million people have voted in Texas as of Friday, compared to 8.9 million in 2016. The high turnout raises hopes for Democrats who believe that this may be the year that Texas finally turns blue.

Large numbers of people who did not vote in 2016 are turning out this year. According to the Democratic elections data firm TargetSmart, 29.8% of those who have already voted in Texas did not cast a ballot in the last election.

Kamala Harris is campaigning in Texas on Friday, appearing at events in Ft. Worth, McAllen and Houston.

Republican Senator David Perdue of Georgia pulled out of the final debate in his reelection race and instead appeared at a rally with President Trump on Sunday. Perdue’s decision came the day after a contentious debate in which his Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, called Perdue a “crook.”

“At last night’s debate, millions saw that Perdue had no answers when I called him out on his record of blatant corruption, widespread disease, and economic devastation. Shame on you, Senator,” Perdue wrote on Twitter on Thursday evening in response to Perdue’s cancellation.

“You did say that COVID-19 is no deadlier than the flu. You did say there would be no significant uptick in cases. All the while, you were looking after your own assets and your own portfolio,” Ossoff had said in the debate. 

Ossoff also slammed Perdue for introducing health care legislation containing loopholes that “specifically allow insurance companies to deny policies to Georgians with preexisting conditions.”

In a statement, Perdue’s campaign said that the senator did not want to attend a debate “listening to Jon Ossoff lie to the people of Georgia.”

“For 8 of the last 14 days of this campaign, Senator Perdue went back to Washington to work for much needed COVID relief for Georgians which Jon Ossoff’s top donor Chuck Schumer derailed,” Perdue’s campaign said. “To make up for the lost time, Senator Perdue has over 20 campaign stops planned for the closing days of this race, and he is excited to welcome and join President Trump in Georgia before November 3rd to campaign for both of their re-election efforts.”

Joe Biden will have his busiest day on the trail during the general election, holding drive-in events in Des Moines, Iowa, and St. Cloud, Minnesota, before traveling to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for an event.

He is leading in Minnesota and Wisconsin, which President Trump won in 2016. Iowa, which Mr. Trump won by 10 points in 2016, is considered a toss-up by the CBS News Battleground Tracker.

Running mate Kamala Harris will be campaigning in Texas, which polls indicate is unexpectedly close this year. Harris will participate in voter mobilization events in Fort Worth, McAllen and Houston.

President Trump will be holding rallies Friday in Waterford Township, Michigan, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Rochester, Minnesota. He won Michigan and Wisconsin in 2016, but Minnesota has not gone for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972.

Polls have Mr. Trump trailing in all three states. According to CBS News’ Battleground Tracker, Joe Biden is up 7 points in Michigan and Minnesota and up 6 points in Wisconsin. 

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News – 2020 Election Live Updates: Trump and Biden head to battleground states in Midwest